It was early in 2010, Oscar buzz was crackling in the air, and one of my friends suggested we go see this new film that everyone was talking about. They said that it immerses you in a world unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. They said it was Star Wars for a new generation, but that this time the Academy was going to give it some acknowledgment. They said it would change my life.
Well, as it turns out, that last part was true. I never would have guessed, when I went to see it, that I would embark on an attempt to view Avatar weekly, for Cinema 52’s year of Movies We Hate.
Avatar was a giant blue cat turd of disappointment. I found its plot to be recycled, its characters to be one-dimensional, and its much-hyped world to be stupid as shit.
If I wanted a CG half-rhino-half-hammerhead-shark, I’d be watching a SyFy channel original feature.
Sure, the whole thing was sort of pretty to look at, but what was the point? Why was I spending almost three hours with Dances with Space-wolves? And why the hell was it getting near-universal praise? Why was it receiving award nominations? It seriously pissed me off.
I decided to watch all ten best picture nominees to see if there were any on the list half as bad (The Blind Side ended up stealing Avatar‘s least worthy nominee crown). Not satisfied, I began a lifelong quest to see every Oscar nominee ever. This sent me into a movie-viewing spiral that eventually landed me in the middle of the Cinema 52 experiment. And so, after a year of High Fidelity and a year of Jurassic Park, I find myself about to go up against this big blue beast of a film.
So, how will watching Avatar once a week for a year affect me? Here are some educated guesses as to how this hateful year will unfold.
1) By June, I will be completely unable to focus on the film while I am watching it. Enough of Avatar will be in my memory by this point that I will find it very difficult to prevent my mind from wandering to more interesting topics (in this case, anything).
2) I will enjoy ripping into the film, but only for about half the year. If my memory of the original time I saw Avatar serves me well, there are tons of really stupid aspects to skewer, possibly enough for an entire year’s worth of jibes. Unfortunately, I do not expect to have the energy to keep up a steady attack for that long. By the time summer hits, I predict that the film will have worn me down, and I will be too tired to even insult it.
3) Starting around June, I will dream about Avatar roughly once a month. During the later months of my year with Jurassic Park, I started dreaming about the film every couple of weeks. Since I have much less interest in Avatar, I do not anticipate that the dreams will be as frequent.
4) Aside from the huge amount of time it will take to view the film, Avatar will not have a huge impact on my daily life. Sure, the film will drive me up a wall, but writing articles about it will provide enough of an outlet for those angry thoughts that I should be able to go about my day-to-day without thinking about blue cat-people. It’s possible that the odd turn of phrase may enter my speech patterns. Fortunately, since, as far as I can tell, Avatar contains no memorable lines, no one will ever notice.
5) I will not gain any new respect for Avatar. Though I hated watching High Fidelity every week, my estimation of the film itself didn’t drastically change by the end of the year. And while I was more aware of its faults, I loved Jurassic Park no less after repeated exposure. By the same token, I doubt that Avatar will rise in my estimation as the year goes on.
Only a year’s time will tell how accurate these prognostications are. Check in regularly to see how successful Avatar is at torpedoing my personal Tree of Souls.
Ugh. I hate this already.